Pest Of The Week – Common Clothes Moth

The common clothes moth is 4 – 7mm long overall and it has long, thread-like antennae and long legs with spines at joints. The moth’s forewings are shiny golden with no markings. The trailing edge of the wings is strongly fringed.

Common clothes moth eggs are laid amongst fibres and fabrics. These will hatch at above 10°C in 1–5 weeks. Common clothes moth larvae are whitish caterpillars that form silk tunnels, camouflaged with fibres and debris. They leave the tunnels at night to feed and hide during the day. Common clothes moth development takes 2–7 months. Common clothes moth pupae hatch inside last larval skin concealed in fabric. These develop from within 2 weeks–2 months. The female adult common clothes moth is quite sedentary, but the males do fly on occasions. Adult moths do not feed and are short-lived.

Habits & Behaviour
Common clothes moths attack textiles and animal products, for example wool, fur, silk, skins, feathers and leather. As moths avoid the light they are often found in old wardrobes and furniture. Common clothes moths can also be found on clothes, carpets, curtains and sofas. Clothes moths feed on keratin, the protein found in animal fibres such as fur, feathers, wools, horsehair etc.

Moths are attracted to woollen fabrics, and carpets stained with food, perspiration or urine. To prevent an infestation: • wash clothes regularly, and make sure they are clean before replacing them in cupboards and drawers – by doing this you should also reduce the risk of damage by moths
• woollen items should be sealed in plastic bags or stored in closed cupboards
• dispose of contaminated foodstuffs correctly, keeping all food waste tightly sealed in bags or bins
• thoroughly clean up any spilled foods and regularly clean storage cupboards.

If you suspect you have a Common Clothes Moth infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.